My current race vehicle is 1986 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo seen below. I got it in January of 92 after my previous car was stolen and torched. This car is named Marmot because it is small, cute, and endangered.
|August 12, 2002|
|Well, RHonda has finally reached the stage where she is too small for our growing family. Two kids that are growing like crazy and a dog in her crate just don't make a Civic sized car practical any more. We have traded RHonda in on a 1989 Dodge Caravan SE Turbo. If I have to get a minivan, at least this one can be fun. It has 210,000 kilometres on it (130,000 miles) and it is in great shape. We are still trying to figure out a name.|
|Spring and Summer, 2002|
|No racing for me this year. Due to starting a new business and other commitments I have been unable to get Marmot into shape to race. Next Year!|
|Spring and Summer, 2001|
The racing season this year has been fun. My skills as a driver have really improved. Particularly cornering. I am much more comfortable with late apex hard cornering. Trail braking into the corner to carry as much speed as possible, holding the corner to the late apex and powering on and running to the edge of the pavement under full power. I used to be pretty hesitant about going for it out of a couple of corners at Western Speedway because there is a concrete wallbelow the stands that you are heading for. I cut several seconds off my lap times.
The Victoria Motor Sports Club is the club I run events with (all solo events). I attended a driver training school this season and for a while, I was keeping up with and beating a done up Supra, a brand new Camaro SS and a couple of other cars that are in higher classes.
The most unfortunate part is that Marmot is still having problems with pounding out lifters under heavy use. The result of this is that I get no power above 5000 RPM and I have to short shift making Marmot MUCH slower. I have replaced the lifters in the past with no improvement. This leads me to believe that there is a problem with keeping oil pressure in the head. This could mean low oil pressure in general or a blockage in the head. I had to replace the oil pump a while ago for other reasons and it didn't improve the problem. I am planning to replace the head and possibly get a high pressure oil pump to try and resolve these issues.
|March 15, 2001|
|Purchased a beautiful Patriot Blue PT Cruiser. It is a limited with 5 speed and all options except a roof rack. We have named it Max. (Short for Maximilion)|
|April 23, 1999|
|I have now replaced the battery tray in my car and also replaced the driver side seat belt. The old one was getting kind of frayed. I also participated in my first racing event last Sunday. It was a slalom and I almost won my class (C Super Sport) except I got a DNF on my first run by moving the cone at the end of the stop box by about 6 inches. So instead of winning by 15 hundredth's I lost by 45. Oh well, next time.|
|April 8, 1999|
|I fixed the calipers. What a chore that was. I figured it would take about an hour. Let's just say I was wrong. It took a couple of days. I rebuilt the calipers and then tried to bleed the brakes. I couldn't figure out why I was getting so much darn air in the lines. After a good long time of trying to bleed them I cam to the conclusion that my master cylinder was shot. Grumble grumble, it was new (rebuilt really) only 8 months ago. I called up the parts store I deal with and talked to a guy and he put a master cylinder under the counter for me. When I got there later in the day he was gone but another guy got the part for me. It was different as it had a metal reservoir instead of a plastic one. Needless to say that I put it on and it was the wrong one. I went back the next day and talked do the original fellow he went and got the part from under the counter with my name on it and everything. Grumble grumble. The only unfortunate part is that even after I put it on and bled all the air out of the system the brake pedal was still going to the floor. After much mucking about I finally gave up and took it into a local brake place that was recommended. It turns out that I had put the brakes on the wrong sides of the car. This means that the bleeder screws were at the bottom of the piston instead of the top. No wonder I couldn't get all the air out. I took the car home, swapped the calipers, bled them and voila, wonderfully working brakes. The only thing I can't figure out is how come they worked before. I didn't switch sides when I rebuilt them. Oh well, go figure.|
|March 7, 1999|
|My big news is that I participated in Solo Racing events last summer. It was incredible. There is NOTHING like screaming around a road coarse with tires wailing. (They are M+S rated so they make mondo noise.) Marmot is operating reasonably well at the moment. The big problems I was having with him wanting to idle at 4500 RPM are solved. It turned out to be the hose that connect the turbo outlet to the intake manifold. It had developed a rip that allowed a lot of air to get into the stream. Got a new part from a wrecker and all is well.
During the time that I was racing I did the SLH upgrade to the brakes. I now have the Kelsey Hayes minivan calipers and adapters on the front and the 27mm master cylinder. It made a huge difference in preventing fade. I can run 10 laps of the road coarse without any fade. It used to be that after about the 6th lap I would notice some fade.
|Sometime in 1996|
|Well, I suppose I should have updated a little earlier about this but Marmot is back on the road! Yeeha. I have done a bunch of work to it over the last year and it is running great. I got the new battery for it and fixed the shift linkage among many other things. The shift linkage is still not perfect but it only cost me ten bucks to have somebody weld the part back together. Let's just say it was a lot cheaper than buying a new part.
I suppose the big news in all the things I have done is a couple of upgrades. I Finally got the Mopar Performance computer and a K&N air filter for my baby. What a difference. I figure that Marmot is putting out about 160 horsepower now. Let's just say that it SCREAMS now.
|Sometime in 1995|
|Marmot is off the road at the moment, mainly because we can't afford to insure both the Cherokee and the GLH. It gives me a good excuse to fix it up. I have a bunch of little things to do to the car from replacing the battery to replacing one component of the shift linkage to having a small accident repaired to the front passenger side corner. I managed to drive into a pothole that caught the edge of the airdam and pushed it back causing the front fender to kink just a little. I should have Marmot back on the road by the end of this year.|
Coors, named because of it's colour, was purchased in Calgary, Alberta after about 6 months of searching. I was first introduced to the GLH when a buddy of mine came back with one from Yellowknife, NWT. He took me for a drive in it the day he got back. Driving at, let's just say, much faster than the law allows he tells me to reach over and take the wheel. Oz, as the black, 85 GLH is named was so stable that it was like driving a car on a Sunday jaunt. Right then and there I decided that I HAD to have one of these cars. I had always been a fan of Mopar vehicles. Lusting after such things as a Hemi Superbird or a Hemi Cuda. Not that I would ever be able to own one. So this little sleeper of a car was right up my alley.
Here is a picture of Coors and OZ on the day that I first got it.
Coors after I was backed into in a parking lot. I think I can see a pattern of destruction developing here.
Tragedy struck early in January 92. I got a call at 5:20 in the morning asking if I had a grey Omni. After confirming the fact, they asked me if I knew where it was. They told me that my car had been found on the beach in flames. I didn't get to see the car until later that day but as you can see from the pictures below there was not much left. You can see how hot the fire was by checking out the melted valve cover and the melted front bumper. Such a waste.
I found out some time after the incident that I was the prime suspect in the slaying. If only they knew how much this car meant to me. I promptly went on the hunt for a new car which I found, surprisingly enough, after only 2 weeks of searching.
Here is a list of the vehicles that have passed through my hands in chronological order.
1977 Mazda GLC a miracle it survived as long as it did. (Junked!)
1975 Dodge Colt (I know, I know it was made by Mitsubishi) (Sold)
1981 Plymouth horizon. I was originally going to make this into a GLH Turbo because I couldn't find a real one. (Sold)
1986 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo. (Coors) (Stolen and Torched RIP)
1986 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo. (Marmot)
1992 Jeep Cherokee 2wd. (Sold during the divorce)
1992 Honda Civic VX (RHonda) 65 MPG yah! (Traded for the Caravan)
2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited (Max)
1989 Dodge Caravan SE Turbo (Name pending)